By Pamela Chan • December 04, 2017
The leftover turkey is wrapped up and like it or not, you’ll probably be enjoying tons of delicious cold cut sandwiches for at least a few more weeks. Still, the feast, the family, and the fine time of the Thanksgiving holiday has left you in good spirits—well, until it suddenly hits you that the holiday shopping season has inevitably kicked off and it is now crunch time to gather up all those last minute gifts you’ll be giving and sending off.
Don’t dare stress out though because we’ve got you covered, and with loads of savings to boot! Though you may have missed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, there is still a bunch of ways to save money and to stay sane as you venture through the holiday shopping madness that’s bound to come. Here are just a few tips and tricks on how to save on holiday shopping.
Everything good starts with a lot of planning and a bit of research, even when it comes to holiday shopping. Before hitting up those streets, read up on all potential savings and reputable reviews for specific stores or markets. Sites such as Consumerreports.org offer hundreds of expert reviews on everything from tech gear to toys, edible stocking stuffers to baby strollers. To do some online comparing for the best price, opt for a comparison shopping site like Pricegrabber.com.
Make sure also to jot down everyone you are shopping for and everything you are planning to spend on. Try including good ideas of what to give beforehand and don’t forget to think about the maximum amount you’ll be willing to spend on each. Just a little bit of prep and hard work can go a long way to help you manage your holiday budget.
The best gift for last-minute shoppers may very well be this: Free Shipping. No Minimum. On December 15, 2017, more than a few hundred popular merchants such as Target, Levi’s, Godiva, and Best Buy will join together to provide free shipping with delivery by December 24.
So why is it that we often end up emptying our wallets dry when having entered our favorite holiday stores?
Lucky for us, in a digital age of endless apps galore, there are now tons of smartphone tools available to help keep you focused on what really needs to be bought and provide the best deals.
Apple users can try downloading the Price Scanner UPC Barcode Scan or Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner, which both scan barcodes and locate better deals as well as relevant coupons. Retailers like Amazon and Walmart provide the exact same function in their own apps to help customers save.
What could be better than literally getting paid to shop? Cash-back shopping sites typically earn commission on what they sell only when they refer a customer who later makes a successful purchase. Hence, as a loyal customer, there is a chance to share in on that commission in the form of cash back, which often ranges from 1-30 percent of the cost of the purchase. Some of the most frequently used cash-back sites include Mr. Rebates or Ebates.
There really is nothing more thoughtful not to mention more inexpensive than a homemade or homegrown gift. Something as simple as handmade jewelry or stationary often gets the job done. And just because DIY gifts don't carry as much monetary value as store bought, that does not mean they do not carry the same—if not more—sentimental value or meaning. Plus, if you’re feeling super crafty, it’s a stellar way to get the munchkins in on some holiday fun too, especially with easy gift-worthy crafts like these!
Pamela Chan Pamela Chan is a writer and an actress who is known as much for her soft spoken-ness as she is for her high-pitched squeals. A native of sunny Southern California, she graduated from USC Annenberg’s Arts Journalism Program in 2014 and has since then, been lending her thoughts to various media outlets.